More Olympic doping suspected
Two Belarusian hammer throwers are being investigated by IOC for doping offences.
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2008 12:39 GMT

Silver medalist Devyatovskiy has already served a drug suspension from 2000-02 [GALLO/GETTY]
The International Olympic Committee is investigating the silver and bronze medalists in the men's hammer throw in Beijing for suspected doping offences.

Russian news agency Allsport reported that Belarusian athletes Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan tested positive for traces of testosterone after the hammer final on August 17.

An IOC disciplinary commission will meet at the end of the month to hear the case, IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said.

The Belarus Athletics Federation said it had received no documents or confirmation of any positive tests by its athletes.

"How can we comment on what we do not have?" spokeswoman Anastasiya
Marinina said.

"Devyatovskiy and Tsikhan deny all the accusations. Every person can have different level of testosterone in his body."

Facing bans

If the two are found guilty of doping, they would be disqualified and stripped of their medals.

Devyatovskiy's silver would go to Krisztian Pars of Hungary, while Tsikhan's bronze would go to Japan's Koji Murofushi.

The gold medal was won by Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia.

The 31-year-old Devyatovskiy faces a lifetime ban if found guilty of a second doping offence.

He served a two-year drug suspension from 2000-02.

It would be a first offence for the 32-year-old Tsikhan, a three-time world champion and silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

More doping

The Belarusians would be the seventh and eighth athletes caught doping at the Beijing Olympics, which closed on August 24.

Disqualified by the IOC during the games were Ukrainian hefptathlete Lyudmila Blonska, Ukrainian weightlifter Igor Razoronov, Greek hurdler Fani Halkia, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno and Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do.

Blonska was stripped of her silver medal, while Kim had his silver and bronze medals revoked.

The IOC carried out more than 5,000 doping tests during the games.

Four years ago in Athens, Hungary's Adrian Annus was stripped of the hammer throw gold medal for doping.

The medal went to Murofushi.

Second time lucky

Murofushi, who now stands to benefit again from a rival's doping violation, issued a statement through his management company in Japan saying, "I'm waiting for an official ruling, so I can't make any comments."

Japanese delegation chief Tomiaki Fukuda expressed mixed feelings about the prospect of getting the bronze.

"It's good for Japan, but receiving a medal in this way makes us feel a bit awkward," he said.

"It will be the second doping offence in hammer throw in two Olympics, so it poses a serious threat for this sport".

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